An Internship is a program to provide practical experience for beginners in an occupation or profession.
It complements a formal education and provides real-world experience.
For companies, it reduces recruiting costs, provides increased access to diverse candidates.
Interns can provide fresh perspectives, help complete special projects and are motivated workers.
In a work setting, interns can assist experienced employees, complete short-term assignments, assist during business peak seasons, and serve as technical assistance on research or project teams.
In order to create the best environment for an intern, make sure that their assignments are structured and stimulating and that have adequate supervision. It is best to align their assignments with their educational curriculum. Make sure to have a written agreement at the start of their assignment that states the terms of their internship.
There are two types of internships: paid and unpaid. These days, many internship positions are paid, but if you want to see if your internship position could or should be unpaid, consider the following:
- The internship must be similar to training which would be given in an educational environment.
- The internship experience benefits the intern.
- The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff.
- The employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may be impeded.
- The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship.
- The employer and intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for time spent in the internship.
- Unpaid internships in the public sector and non-profit charitable organizations are generally permissible.
For more information, check out the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division webpage at www.wagehour.dol.govor give them a call at 866-487-9243.